Reflexology, acupressure and foot massage are most effective when applied on a regular basis. Just as stress and tension are accumulative, so are the benefits of circulation work and the relaxation response. Following is a simple method anyone can use to relieve tension and ease the aches and pains resulting from the constant wear and tear of the foot. [This is an extract from Danielle's book, The Well-Tempered Life.]
Note: Let's section the feet into 5 sections: A, B, C, D, E on the Plantar side of the foot which is the sole of the feet. The toes are Section A, the ball of the foot is Section B, the instep is related to Sections C & D, and the heel is Section E. When we look at the top of the foot, that part of the foot is referred to as the Dorsal side. The outer side of the foot is referred to as the Lateral side while the inside of the foot is referred to as the Medial side.
Start by rubbing your hands together, generating warmth. Sit on the floor or on a comfortable chair. Bend the right knee so that you can place your right foot on your left thigh area with the sole of your foot [the plantar side of the foot] facing you. Rub and wring the foot as if you are trying to squeeze stuff out of it. This will increase the circulation in the foot.
Hand & FootHold your right foot with the left hand supporting the toes and work one toe at a time. Support each toe with your left fingers behind it placing your right fingers on top of your left fingers to give you a stable supportive position. Press either your right or left thumb (you may want to alternate which thumb to use depending on which toe you are working) into a toe pad giving it a pressure point circular massage – start at either the big toe or baby toe – whichever one you prefer. After working the toe pads, slowly inch your thumb in a press-release manner [referred to as the thumb walk] up the length of the toe from the base of the toe to toe pad. Complete each toe three times.
Work Section B by grasping the right foot with your left thumb on the plantar side and your left fingers behind. Vertically using your thumb walk method, inch upward between the valleys of the bones (called the metatarsal bones) starting where Section B and C meet. Do all four valleys. Repeat three times up each valley.
Using your thumb-walk method, work Section C in a diagonal and/or horizontal direction covering Section C three times.
Holding the heel area, take one of your knuckles of the left hand and make circular pressure point patterns in Section E. Press and stroke along the U-shaped sides of the heel with your knuckle.
Using both of your hands, place your thumbs on the plantar side of the foot and wrap your other fingers around the top of the foot. Find the valleys between the metatarsal bones and press and release your fingers (use your index and/or middle fingers) down the valleys toward the ankle area. Complete your valley journey toward the ankle area three times.
With your left middle finger, press-release into the slight indentation that goes across from ankle bone to ankle bone.
With your left thumb on the plantar side of the foot and your left index finger on the top side of the foot, in a pinching-like fashion, pinch the lateral side of Zone 5 going from top to bottom and bottom to top three times.
Cupping the heel of your right foot in your left hand with the thumb resting at the heel area, thumb walk up the medial side of Zone 1 to the top of the big toe.
Rub and stroke your foot once again. Do the other foot. Once both feet are complete, take some lotion and work into your feet in a massaging manner. Pause and take a couple of deep breaths in through the nose and exhale out through the mouth slowly. Feel the effect of this circulatory work on the body. Notice the stimulating, yet grounding feeling throughout your whole system.
Questions or comments? Please contact Danielle.